And no one should ever do it.
But if you absolutely insist on torturing yourself and all those around you, it’s worth at least doing it well and for the right reasons.
See if you can tell which of the following are The Right Reasons:
- To gain the admiration and respect of throngs of people around the world
- To display your genius
- To get rich quickly
- To correct everyone else’s stupidity
- To live a life of leisure, free of care and concern
- To prove your parents wrong
- To show everyone how much better you are than every other writer that ever was
- So you can look down on others
- Because it makes you special
- Because it’s easy
If you selected any of the above you are wrong. There is no right reason to write, because writing is stupid and no one should ever do it, EVER.
But if you still think you should, know that it is one of the most difficult things in the world to say exactly what you want to say, and nothing more and nothing less. Know that the more you study writing, the more you will realize how impossible it really is to fully capture That Thought or Dream in words. And even if you happen to think you’ve captured it, you will come back later and read it again, and realize you could’ve done it so much better.
And if by some stroke of luck you happen to accidentally hit upon exactly what you wanted to say exactly the way you wanted to say it, which is unlikely, lots of people who read it will misunderstand what you were trying to say anyway, because they’ll misread it. Not that “lots” of people will ever read what you wrote. The vast majority of people will be completely unaware you exist.
Even if you are a wildly successful author, most of the people in the world will never have heard of you. Of those that have heard of you, many won’t like you. And even many of the people who like your work won’t be able to remember your name or recognize you in person.
You will never finish anything. Because whatever It is could always be improved, if only you were a little better.
That Thing you spend years pouring yourself into, sacrificing countless mornings and lunches and nights that could be spent enjoying yourself? Your audience will consume it in mere hours. And forget most of it.
So don’t bother. Writing is stupid and no one should ever do it.
Unless you simply must. In which case none of the above should prevent you from doing it, because maybe, just maybe, you might be doing it for a reason that is something like right.